Maybe you’ve tried omega-3 supplements before. Fish oil, krill oil, flax oil… glucosamine and chondroitin… magnesium… collagen... turmeric… eggshell membrane… there are a lot of options out there, and some of them are pretty pricey.
The problem with a lot of those other options is that they come with side effects. Some people are allergic to fish or shellfish. And at least one study has found that taking glucosamine and chondroitin can actually make joint pain worse!
Your doctor, therapist or health coach may have recommended you start by changing your diet and exercise instead of taking a supplement. But that’s harder to do in real life than most people would like... and if you can make those changes, then adding a natural joint pain relief supplement as well is even better!
You’re probably already using pain relief medication when your arthritis gets bad. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (branded as Advil or Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and diclofenac (Voltaren) are not massively expensive, so that’s a plus. But they can cause stomach and digestive problems.
And did you know that diclofenac kills vultures when they eat dead cattle that were fed the drug? Yeah, that was news to us too!
You might’ve tried topical creams and ointments, like the ones from the Lakota brand. They use capsaicin from hot peppers to warm your skin and underlying tissues, which can help to ease pain. But skin irritation is a common side effect. And topical heat is better suited to muscle injuries, because your muscles are closer to the skin than your joints.
(Don’t touch your face after using deep heat ointments, either, because you don’t want capsaicin in your eyes or mouth — it’s the same ingredient as in pepper sprays used for self-defense.)
If you’ve been suffering with joint pain for a long time, you may have gone further in your search for a treatment that works. Massage? Acupuncture? Qigong? The traditional — but completely ineffective — copper bracelet?
Maybe you’ve considered other, more high-tech wearable appliances that claim to help with arthritis. Maybe you’ve even thought about surgery.